Sunday, May 21, 2017

What Cat?

Found this little newly-hatched baby robin sitting on the head of our ceramic cat out on the front porch. 
Not a care in the world, but also with a LOT to learn about that new world.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Feature article in Story Monsters Inc. Magazine


This is a heads up concerning my feature article, “Why I Write for Reluctant Readers," in the current issue of Story Monsters Inc. magazine. You’ll find it starting on page 16.

Story Monsters Inc. magazine has received the Golden Award from Mom’s Choice Awards, is named the “great magazines for kids and teens” by School Library Journal, and a 2016 Irwin Award winner for “Best Publisher of a Literary Magazine” and “Best Editorial Director.” 

“StoryMonsters Ink” is a free, subscription-based e-digest that gives parents and educators the latest news about award-winning and debut books, profiles on both renowned and newly published authors, upcoming book events, author presentations and more.



Max

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Got a Middle Grade Reader who loves surprise endings?

Got a Middle Grade Reader who loves surprise endings? Then Danger Mountain is the next read you’re looking for. 


Synopsis

Kurt Benson’s cousin Dillon lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Dillon McDonald’s father owned an outfitter’s shop in the village there. One day Dillon hoped to work for a mountain rescue team. But for now, he and his friends Pete and Wayne were planning their first practice hike. It was only supposed to be for a short distance, and then they’d return the same day. Kurt was coming to Colorado with his father on a business trip.
Dillon’s father had often warned him to stay away from Danger Mountain. That’s because climbers would hike toward it, but never return.
Just before the boys left the outfitter shop, even before sunup on the day of their first mountain hike, a strange group of men started out ahead of them. Dillon’s father had rented the men almost everything except the mules. Kurt hoped he wasn’t about to get into another accidental adventure, but was he ever wrong!
Early into their hike, the boys left the main trail so they could get a glimpse of Danger Mountain. And that’s when they saw some of those same men chasing another man up to the edge of a cliff. A shot rang out, and the man went over the side.
When the boys screamed, the men began chasing them. The chase lasted several days. Dillon wondered if his father would remember their secret meeting place. He, Kurt, and his friends continued climbing, but would they ever be able to reach it?
Then, when the helicopter landed, it was those terrible men who stepped out first. Dillon thought he and his friends were doomed. The boys were not prepared for what happened next.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Butterflies and Granddaughters

Our park district, in Rockford, IL, presents some terrific programs. Currently they have a butterflies exhibit in which visitors can go into a screened area where they can see the insects, let them land on heads, hands, or shoulders, and feed them with a flavor stick. 



My wife and I took our Rockford grandchildren, Olivia and Abby, for this unique experience. They were also able to see several cocoons from which future butterflies will emerge. 

As you can see, we had a great time.

This link takes you to a short video from the park district about the exhibit. You might enjoy watching it.
https://www.nicholasconservatory.com/butterflies/

Saturday, April 29, 2017

2 Series 12 Books For Middle Grade Readers!

My two Middle Grade series are completed and available NOW from Elk Lake Publishing.

Sam Cooper Adventure Series
Lost Island Smugglers
Captain Jack's Treasure
River Rampage
This Property is Condemned
At The Buzzer
Ghosts In The Old Attic

The Accidental Adventures Of Kurt Benson And His Friends Riley and Jordan
The Cat Burglars
Funny Money
The Secret Of Grandmother's Grandfather Clock
Summer Camp Trouble
Danger Mountain
Shadow Of The Fat Man

Get them for your young readers, especially boys and help stop the summer slide this year.

Watch This Blog 
For More Titles Coming Soon!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Sam Cooper (Middle Grade) Adventure Series - Great for Summer Reading

The Sam Cooper Adventure Series


Here's a perfect series for any middle grade reader, 8 - 13, who is looking for fast-paced, exciting adventures and mysteries. Readers won't get all bogged down with endless details and descriptions. Each story starts out with a bang and doesn't let up until the last page. Even if you have a reluctant boy reader at home, these books are sure to connect because the author also grew up as a struggling, reluctant reader. Yet, avid readers and girls love reading his books, too.


Lost Island Smugglers #1

Sam Cooper had only recently moved to Florida when he met Tony at his new church. Tony’s father owned a marina. 
Sam, Tony, and Tyler took scuba lessons together. Tony got them in for free. After they completed the course, the boys decided to try out their new skills in the real world…the ocean. The only problem was, none of them had permission.
While Tony’s father was away on a buying trip, the boys took one of the rental sailboats out for their diving adventure. Everything went well until the biggest storm Tony had ever seen, blew up from out of nowhere. Their boat was smashed to splinters and the boys found themselves stranded on Lost Island.
But, if they thought the worst had happened, they were wrong. The boys discovered a secret hideout that was used by drug runners in high powered speedboats. 

Sam and his friends had to find a way to stop them, but how? And, even if they could, what were they going to tell their parents when they got home?
Captain Jack's Treasure #2

Sam Cooper lives right near the ocean, on the Treasure Coast of Florida. All he’s ever heard about since he moved here were the fabulous treasures that have been found, and those still waiting to be discovered.
For his birthday, he received the gift of his dreams. It’s the latest, top-of-the-line, metal detector. Along with his friends, Tony, and Tyler, all are convinced that they will be the ones to dig up the next great find.
They meet a crusty sea captain named Jack. He’s fixing up an impossible looking old tub. The boys believe it’s going to be used to search for treasure at sea. They get permission from their parents to help with the restoration job in the hopes that Captain Jack will share his wealth.
When Sam’s father nearly dies, from a heart attack, the true values of life take on new importance and meaning.
What is Captain Jack’s mysterious secret? And what is he really planning to do with that boat?

Readers will gain a new appreciation for family, they will learn about the dangers of greed, and oh the stories Captain Jack can tell.

River Rampage #3

Sam Cooper and his friends have the chance of a lifetime to go rafting down the mighty Colorado River. The rains have been heavy this season, turning the raging river even more treacherous. The boys become separated from the main group, their rubber raft is going flat, and now they’re on their own. They have their hands full with a crusty prospector, his gold mine, a gang of outlaw bikers, and a desperate river escape on their makeshift wooden raft. 
Think that’s the worst that could happen? Well, it isn’t.
This Property Is Condemned #4

A sign outside the old Remmington Mansion read, “This Property is Condemned.” Sam Cooper couldn’t figure out exactly what that meant. Even after his father explained it, he became more puzzled than ever. So, along with his friends, Tony and Tyler, he set out to solve the mystery. 
Sam thought the old place was abandoned. But, when the boys went to investigate, a curtain moved, and they discovered old Mrs. Remmington still lived in the crumbling house.
Sam was the kind of person who would try to right any wrong, or help anyone who was in trouble. And Mrs. Remmington was in a lot of it.
So, he organized the whole town to go out and fix the place up like new. But that’s when his problems really began.
Why did those men try to scare the old woman into moving? And, why were they threatening Sam and his friends?

No matter what it took, Sam was determined to find out.
At The Buzzer #5

Sam Cooper had rehearsed a thousand times, in the back yard, how he would win the big game, with a three point shot, and be a hero. Still, he wondered what would happen in a real game. Sam’s friends all played on the basketball team at school.
Sam was concerned about his best friend, Perry, for a couple of reasons, and he was going to do his best to help his friend.
On the way home from a survival church camp weekend, the boys’ van is nearly involved in a fatal accident with an eighteen-wheeler on a rain slick road. The boys have to confront life and death for the first time in their lives.
Later, while they practiced basketball at Sam’s house, Perry fell, resulting in a severe injury. Instantly his plans to use basketball as the ticket to his future were changed. Perry was the big man in the middle. Without him, the team had to change the way they played.
Would they be able to win the championship?
Would Chris take the final shot like he’d practiced his whole life?

Did it go in…or didn’t it? The answer will surprise you.
Ghosts In The Old Attic #6

Sam Cooper is about to get the surprise of his life. His parents plan to leave Harper’s Inlet and move to Louisiana, where they will open a bed and breakfast.
When the family arrives, Sam’s cousins have some pretty wild-eyed stories to tell about a “haunted” mansion nearby. He and his cousins begin exploring the creepy place. Where were those noises coming from and the strange lights at night? There is also a rumor that the reason this place is “haunted” is because there is buried treasure hidden someplace. 
As the cousins are investigating, Sam’s parents have been looking for an available property they can afford.
Sam was in for another surprise when he found out about the rundown mansion his parents finally chose to buy. Who is trying to discourage them from moving in and why?

Will the family be able to open the bed and breakfast before it’s too late, or will they lose all their money?

Link to Additional Books:  


Bio for Max Elliot Anderson

Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a struggling, reluctant reader and has spent most of his life in the production of documentary and dramatic films, client videos, and television commercials. Most of his previous writing includes adventures and mysteries that bring the same visual excitement, and heart-pounding action from those productions into his books for middle grade readers 8 and up.

While producing video programs and commercials for clients, he observed the important role humor played in many different situations. The Sense of Humor is a culmination of those experiences and observations, and is intended to help people understand the power a positive sense of humor offers.

Mr. Anderson is listed in Who’s Who in America and his productions have won multiple Telly Awards. He and his wife Claudia have two children and four grandchildren.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Accidental Adventures (Middle Grade) Series - Great for Summer Reading


The Accidental Adventures of Kurt Benson and his friends, Riley and Jordan.


Here's a perfect series for any middle grade reader, 8 - 13, who is looking for fast-paced, exciting adventures and mysteries. They're perfect for summer reading because these books are relatively short - most just over 100 pages. Readers don't get all bogged down with endless details and descriptions. Each story starts out with a bang and doesn't let up until the last page. Even if you have a reluctant boy reader at home, these books are sure to connect because the author also grew up as a struggling, reluctant reader. Yet, avid readers and girls love reading his books, too.


The Cat Burglars #1

Kurt Benson could hardly believe there had been a burglary, and right in his own neighborhood. He was helping out his friend, Riley Pletcher, whose parents owned Pletcher’s Bed and Biscuit Kennels.
 Kurt thought it was odd that his neighbor’s cat, Buffy, had been staying at the kennel while the family was away on vacation. But, when he found out the houses of at least four other Pletcher’s customers had also been hit, his head started spinning.
 That was before he saw the copier repairman do something odd. When he thought no one could see him, the man took a sheet of paper from a clipboard on the wall, made a copy, and quickly returned the clipboard to its hook.
 Was it possible the repairman had something to do with all those burglaries?
 Were they getting ready to strike again?

 Can Kurt figure out the mystery in time?

Funny Money Mystery #2

 Kurt Benson’s uncle’s house was actually the second story of a building in the center of Main Street. His aunt and uncle ran a bakery downstairs. One thing was for sure, Kurt never had to wonder where his next meal would be coming from. 
 His friends, Riley and Jordan, helped him make deliveries. Over at Emmett’s shop, they had the man weld two bikes to an old metal cart. He even added a motor. Now they could carry larger loads of baked goodies.
 Kurt never missed anything that happened along Main Street because he could look down there from the upstairs window. That’s why, when a van pulled up and men began unloading large boxes, and taking them inside an abandoned storefront, Kurt became suspicious. He and his friends came up with a plan to find out what those men were doing.
 After counterfeit twenty-dollar-bills began showing up all over town, the boys set up a high-tech surveillance system to help solve the mystery.
 Could it be that the guys across the street were printing all those phony bills?

 Will the boys be able to get the evidence before those men figure out what’s happening and leave town?

The Mystery of Grandmother’s
Grandfather Clock #3

 Kurt Benson loved to visit his grandparents’ farm. But, not this time. A simple phone call changed everything. His grandfather had been a bomber pilot and, together, they’d built models. When the phone rang, Kurt was nearly finished building the first one that could actually fly.
 His grandparents lived a long distance away. When the family finally got there, Kurt and his sister Olivia found out that their grandfather had died. But the biggest shock was that someone may have been responsible for it.
 So, Kurt, Olivia, and their cousins set out to discover the truth. What they find is that someone had been threatening the old man and now they were trying to scare Kurt’s grandmother.
 His grandfather had left some clues, but they didn’t make sense to Kurt until he noticed a mirror. He also found that someone in the county office had been tampering with property records and several people had already lost their farms…but why?

Summer Camp Trouble #4

Kurt Benson and his friends Riley and Jordan used to look forward to summer camp each year up in Wisconsin. But that was before the camp opened up to kids who came from some pretty rough homes a couple of years ago.
 Then, this summer, things got a little more interesting when a rich kid showed up. He didn’t come by bus, minivan, or car like most campers. This guy arrived in a helicopter. Plus, his suitcases were filled with candy bars and other things he used to get kids to do things for him.
 This summer, some of the roughest boys Kurt had ever seen came to camp. Right from the start, they caused all kinds of trouble.
 Then, one night, there was a huge explosion as fireworks went off. They were supposed to hit Kurt’s cabin, but something went terribly wrong.

 Why did Kurt risk his own safety to save the life of one of the worst guys at camp? His actions would change Rudy’s life from that point on.

Danger Mountain #5

 Kurt Benson’s cousin Dillon lived at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Dillon McDonald’s father owned an outfitter’s shop in the village there. One day Dillon hoped to work for a mountain rescue team. But for now, he and his friends Pete and Wayne were planning their first practice hike. It was only supposed to be for a short distance, and then they’d return the same day. Kurt was coming to Colorado with his father on a business trip.
 Dillon’s father had often warned him to stay away from Danger Mountain. That’s because climbers would hike toward it, but never return.
 Just before the boys left the outfitter shop, even before sunup on the day of their first mountain hike, a strange group of men started out ahead of them. Dillon’s father had rented the men almost everything except the mules. Kurt hoped he wasn’t about to get into another accidental adventure, but was he ever wrong!

 Early into their hike, the boys left the main trail so they could get a glimpse of Danger Mountain. And that’s when they saw some of those same men chasing another man up to the edge of a cliff. A shot rang out, and the man went over the side.

Shadow of the Fat Man #6

Kurt Benson and his friends, Riley and Jordan, helped out sometimes at Weaver’s Hardware Store. It only filled half of the building. The other half housed a restaurant. Both businesses shared a common basement. And, it was in that basement where Kurt and his friends overheard a plot for a bank robbery. Any time Kurt got excited recently, his eye twitched. And right then, it was twitching something awful.
 The men upstairs agreed to meet again in the same booth, so, Kurt and his friends decided to be there to listen in on their plans.
 Kurt wanted to tell what he knew, but, for the moment, he wasn’t exactly sure what the plan was, when it would happen, or who the men were. His father had always warned him not to do or say anything that might make the family look bad.
 The boys overheard the plans where the crooks intended to steal the money from a vault, stick it into plastic, trash bags, and toss those bags into a waiting garbage truck that one of the gang would have out in the alley.
 When they tried to tell their story to the police chief, he informed them that he can’t arrest anyone simply for what he thinks they might do.

 Now it’s up to Kurt, Riley, and Jordan, in another accidental adventure, to catch those robbers in the act…but how?

Series Book Trailer



Amazon Link: 

Link to Additional Books:  


Bio for Max Elliot Anderson

Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a struggling, reluctant reader and has spent most of his life in the production of documentary and dramatic films, client videos, and television commercials. Most of his previous writing includes adventures and mysteries that bring the same visual excitement, and heart-pounding action from those productions into his books for middle grade readers 8 and up.

While producing video programs and commercials for clients, he observed the important role humor played in many different situations. The Sense of Humor is a culmination of those experiences and observations, and is intended to help people understand the power a positive sense of humor offers.


Mr. Anderson is listed in Who’s Who in America and his productions have won multiple Telly Awards. He and his wife Claudia have two children and four grandchildren.